The Brain & Its Functions

Topics: Cerebrum, Cerebral cortex, Brain Pages: 5 (1309 words) Published: December 2, 2012
Opening Notes:
* Interest and research in the brain is at an all-time pace The cure for some common diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis has accelerated the efforts of many scientists * Many of the names for the parts of the brain have come from Latin and Greek words * The easiest way to learn about the brain is to look at it as three divisions; the hindbrain, the midbrain and the forebrain * Modern imaging has allowed us to study the brain and locate where important functions are occurring * Functions do not happen in just one area of the brain

Many neural layers and areas are found in any one activity that happens. * Some areas do appear to be predominantly involved in certain functions.

The hindbrain:
* The hindbrain is located where the spinal cord goes into the cranium * The first area that we see if the medulla.
It is the swelling at the tip of the spinal cord.
* It is concerned with all of our automatic functioning, such as breathing, heart rate and swallowing medulla: controls all involuntary responses
* reticular formation: regulates sleep and wakefulness reticular formation: regulates sleep and wakefulness
Inside the medulla is the reticulum activation system
It is concerned with arousal, attention and sleep
* The second part of the hindbrain that we see is the cerebellum Is sometimes called the small brain
cerebellum: controls coordinated motor activity
e.g when you first learn to ride a bike, you have to think about everything you do. After you learn to ride a bike, it becomes totally automatic, and that is because of the cerebellum * The next part that we see is the pons

Pons means bridge in Greek and that’s exactly what the pons is * It is a bridge taking in all of our sensory information and taking it to the cortex to be interpreted. pons: the bridge from brainstem to cortex

The midbrain:
* The midbrain takes all of the incoming neural information and channels it to the correct part of the cortex to be interpreted. * It is also involved in muscle tone and helps in sleep, wakefulness and attention. The forebrain:

* It is the most complicated part of the brain, and it is what separates us as human beings from other animals. * When we first look inside the skull, what we see is the cerebrum. * The cerebrum is composed of two parts called hemispheres; the right side and the left side * The outer covering of the cerebrum is called the cortex * It is made up of what is called convolutions – the worm-like structures that you see when you look at the brain convolutions: folds in the brain that store memories

* We can look at the cortex in another way and divide the cortex into four sections called lobes; function of the lobe is to interpret information coming in from our senses cortex: surface layer of brain

* Located in the back of the head is the occipital lobe. * The occipital lobe processes visual information, or what we see. occipital lobe: interprets visual information
* Coming to the top of the head is the parietal lobe.
* The parietal lobe processes information on pain, touch, temperature and pressure parietal lobe: interprets temperature, pain, pressure and touch * Located on the sides of our head, right above our ears, are the temporal lobes. * The temporal lobes process auditory information, emotion, and have a part in memory temporal lobe: interprets auditory information

* Located right above our forehead is our frontal lobe; it is the largest part of the cortex and the part of our brain that makes us human. * It is involved in speech production, logical and rational thought, and has the ability to understand and plan the future. frontal lobe: controls speaking, thought and future planning * There are two areas behind the frontal lobe.

* The first one is the motor cortex and it interprets our muscular...
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